The Academic Staff Union of Universities has declared a “comprehensive and total” strike. The strike was declared at a press conference addressed by the President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, on Monday.
He said the strike, which takes effect from Monday, February 14, 2022, would last for an initial period of four weeks. According to him, the union tried to avoid the strike but the Federal Government is unresponsive to the union’s demands.
“We don’t like to see our students at home. We don’t want our academic calendars disrupted but our demands are not met,” he added. The ASUU chairman also said ASUU NEC faulted the creation of new universities.
Osodeke asked the Federal Government to call the Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, to order over the unpaid Earned Academic Allowances of its members in the university.
“We have an agreed template with FG but the VC refused to pay. Failure to pay using that template is a misappropriation. He should be cautioned,” the ASUU president said.
Members of the union’s National Executive Council had held marathon meetings since Saturday at the University of Lagos titled, ‘NEC for NEC.’
ASUU had sensitised and mobilised lecturers and students across all universities on the reason the union might likely go on strike
The union had expressed grievances over the failure of the Federal Government to fulfil some of the agreements it made as far back as 2009. ASUU had on November 15, 2021, given the federal government a three-week ultimatum over the failure to meet the demands.
The lecturers threatened to embark on another round of industrial action following the alleged “government’s unfaithfulness” in the implementation of the Memorandum of Action it signed with the union, leading to the suspension of the 2020 strike action.
After the union’s National Executive Council meeting at the University of Abuja on November 13 and 14, ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, lamented that despite meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, on October 14, 2021, on issues, including funding for revitalisation of public universities, earned academic allowances, University Transparency Accountability Solution; promotion arrears, renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN Agreement, and the inconsistencies in Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System Payment, none of its demands had been met.
Following the threat, the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, promised that the union would be paid.
A few weeks after, ASUU suspended the planned strike, as N22.1 billion earned allowances were paid to lecturers in federal universities.
On the heels of the union’s renewed agitations, the co-chairmen of the National Inter-religious Council, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Abubakar III, and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, visited the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), last month, over the lack of implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding the government signed with ASUU in 2009 and others.